The teacher and coach is about to get his due for his own athletic accomplishments.
Platteville’s Tom Caccia will be inducted into UW-Platteville athletic Hall of Fame this weekend for his exploits as both a collegiate swimmer and a high school coach.
Caccia will join five other former Pioneer standouts in the Hall of Fame class of 2011, which will be honored during an introduction ceremony during the UW-Platteville basketball doubleheader against UW-River Falls this Saturday.
Candidates for induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame are selected based on outstanding performance in intercollegiate athletics while a student at UW-Platteville, outstanding coaching performance for at least 15 years or outstanding contributions to UW-Platteville intercollegiate athletics.
After swimming one year (1973-74) at Division 1 Northern Illinois in DeKalb Caccia transferred to UW-Platteville.
In his three years as a Pioneer, Caccia was team captain and led the team in scoring all three years. He was twice named the team’s Most Valuable swimmer. He set 25 varsity records and held six when he graduated in 1977, including the 200 and 400-yard Individual Medley, the 500 and 1,000-yard Freestyle and the 400 and 800 yard Freestyle Relays.
Caccia was a conference finalist 16 times and a two-time National Qualifier in the 400 yard individual medley. As a senior in 1976-77, he was named to the All-Conference Scholastic/Athlete team for outstanding performance in Athletics and Academics with a 3.8 GPA.
The UW-Platteville swimming program was discontinued following the 1982-83 season.
As a coach Caccia has enjoyed similar success. He began his teaching career with two years at Argyle High School, then spent one year at Fennimore High School. But it wasn’t until 1980-81, when he came to Platteville that he started coaching swimming.
Caccia started both the boys and girls Platteville swim teams and is the only head coach the program has ever known. In 32 years as the girls’ coach he has compiled a record of 211-152-6. In 31 years his boys’ teams have gone 134-197-2. He has also coached the Platteville summer swim team to a 128-60-2 record during that time.
Caccia has been awarded the Wisconsin State Coach of the Year four times (1999 for girls, 2001, 2005, 2006 for boys). He was also named the National Federation of High School Coaches Section Coach of the Year in 2006.
He was given the National Outstanding Service to Swimming award in 1999 (can only receive this honor one time) and the National Collegiate/Scholastic Trophy award in 2010 (can also only receive this honor one time), along with several State and National Service Awards.
In 2003 Caccia was selected by Aquatic International Magazine as one of the top 100 Most Influential People in Aquatics in the United States, an honor that includes all of aquatics, not just coaching - i.e. facility managers, college professors, red cross personnel and college coaches among others.
Caccia is a technology education teacher at Platteville High School. He is married to Theresa Caccia and has one daughter, Ashley Cleary (Paul).
Caccia is a graduate of Rockford Auburn High School.
Joining Caccia in the 2011 Class will be Jeff Eastlick (football and wrestling), Scott Arneson (wrestling), Frank Bins (football), Greg Mursch (track and field) and Jeff Swalve (baseball). The six-member class will bring the UWP Hall of Fame membership to 165.
Reservations can be made through the UW-Platteville Alumni Services office by calling 1-800-897-2586 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tickets to the basketball game where they will be introduced can be purchased through the Athletic office at 608-342-1567. The Pioneer women will tip off at 3 p.m. and the men will follow.